Tooth decay and cavities are two very common dental issues. Millions of people from children to seniors are affected. Tooth decay is the result of acid erosion, which is caused by the acids produced by plaque and bacteria. When these acids sit on the surfaces of the teeth, they begin to eat away at the enamel, causing weak spots. These weak spots eventually turn into cavities. Once cavities form, they continue to grow larger and larger, compromising the structure of the affected tooth and your oral health. At Aesthetic Restorative & Implant Dentistry Northwest, we can help to prevent the formation of tooth decay, and therefore cavities as well, with fluoride treatments.
Risk Factors for Developing Tooth Decay
There are multiple factors that can increase your risk of developing tooth decay and cavities. These factors include
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in your teeth. It plays an important role in providing strength for your teeth, allowing them to effectively fight off acid erosion. Every day, fluoride, as well as other important minerals such as calcium, is lost through a natural process called demineralization. Fluoride and other minerals can also be replaced through a process known as remineralization. As long as you are replacing the same amount of fluoride as the amount that has been lost, your teeth can remain healthy. If more fluoride is lost than replaced, then decay begins to occur.
Why is Fluoride Important?
Fluoride is an essential element for the strength and health of your teeth. It works to prevent acids from eroding your enamel, preventing the formation of decay and cavities. Once decay has developed into a cavity, it cannot be reversed. Cavities require fillings to restore your oral health. Fluoride can prevent the formation of decay and cavities from occurring in the first place. It can be found in treated tap water and fluoridated oral care products. It can even be found in trace amounts in certain foods. In addition to preventing the formation of tooth decay, it can also help to reverse early decay, before a cavity has formed.
Fluoride Treatments for Protecting Your Teeth
While many people get the fluoride they need from oral care products and treated water, not everyone does. We can help to provide additional protection for your teeth with fluoride treatments. These treatments are very quick, simple, and painless, and are typically done during your routine dental visits. Following your cleaning, a fluoride gel is painted onto the surfaces of your teeth. That is all there is to it. There is no need to wash the gel off or otherwise remove it. The fluoride absorbs directly into your enamel, going to work protecting your teeth. We recommend that you do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes following the application of your fluoride treatment to ensure maximum absorption.
With fluoride treatments, we can help to provide your teeth with an additional layer of protection against the formation of tooth decay and cavities. Call Aesthetic Restorative & Implant Dentistry Northwest at (425) 771-2022 today to find out if fluoride treatments are right for you.
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